Texas Connects Us: Dallas Heritage Village - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Texas Connects Us: Dallas Heritage Village

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    Texas Connects Us: Dallas Heritage Village Blacksmith

    Dallas Heritage Village is celebrating its 50th anniversary. And we look at one of the museum's most popular attractions: Fred Christen, the blacksmith. (Published Monday, June 6, 2016)

    Dallas Heritage Village opened its doors 50 years ago.

    It's a 13 acre museum in south Dallas that gives people a revealing look into how North Texans lived in the late 1800's.

    "It's all about going back to your roots," said Melissa Prycer, the museum's president and executive director. "History is a passion for most of our staff and there are different ways of expressing that."

    One of the most popular spots is the blacksmith shop, where 86-year-old Fred Christen is in charge.

    "It's better than sitting around and doing nothing," he joked.

    Christen has been perfecting his craft over the last 30 years.

    "You know, I'm old school," Christen said with a smile.

    For him, retirement looks a lot like work.

    You'll find him there nearly every Saturday sharing his knowledge in sold-out classes.

    "I'm having a blast," said student Mike Craddock.

    "He's funny and obviously he knows what he's doing," added student Justin Wilson. "You don't only want to learn a craft, but you also learn life skills from these guys. That's years of experience and people need to pay attention to that more often and learn from that."

    Christen seems to be forging character, as well.

    "Because is in this operation heat is your friend," he said. "Grandma says strike while the iron is hot!"

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